Words earnestly escaped Malik Wade as he paced housing units inside O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton. Youth nodded respectfully in Wade’s direction as he stayed illuminated in the harsh light of high windows. With raw emotion, Wade explained his past incarceration and the life principles that guided his path to post-prison success so vividly, you felt like you could paint it. The author, entrepreneur, mentor and nonprofit founder is a regular speaker in county correctional facilities, but his trek to O.H. Close represented his first outreach to youthful offenders serving time with the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
In May, Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF) students at Mary B. Perry High School hosted another Project Based Learning (PBL) exhibition, a modern humanitarianism study highlighting the narrative of Frederick Douglass, an African American slave who lived in the 1800s and became a national abolitionist, world-class orator, celebrated intellectual and author.
It took 49 years for the Los Angeles Rams to move their National Football League franchise to St. Louis and another 21 years to make an emphatic return to the City of Angels in 2016. Two years later, the program has its sight set on Ventura ― for outreach, not relocation. Rams players Troy Hill, Ethan Westbrooks and Dominique Hatfield joined a team of former players and Rams Community Affairs staff at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYFC) May 19 for a special event, reaching the hearts, minds, and even feet of youthful offenders.
Former CAL FIRE Deputy Chief Lee Winton left his expectations at home in his favorite chair when he ditched retirement to teach a semester of Fire Science 1 for Columbia College at Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp in early February. Sixteen weeks and 17 passing grades later, Winton isn’t sure who learned from who. “I knew going in the door that I had never talked to an audience like this, and that it would be a challenge to work with people who have struggled so much in their lives,” Winton explained. “But it was a good challenge, and it became a very rewarding endeavor.
An A and B Level “Giant Soccer” event was recently held at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility recently to encourage youth to achieve and maintain their A level in the Incentive Program which is an integral part of the Behavior Management System.
Institutions for young offenders sparked the need for more oversight, resulting in the creation of the California Youth Authority, which eventually became the Division of Juvenile Justice. When females were just breaking through barriers to become correctional officers in male prisons, a woman was named to head the youth authority in 1976. It’s believed she was the first woman in the nation to lead a statewide prison system. The is the fourth and final part in the series.